Author Topic: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?  (Read 29577 times)

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2016, 09:46:08 AM »
Ongoing husband bragging - he's putting roof over more of the porch today (72 foot of porch overall, and this will tie into the greenhouse atrium roof, so it's a bigger project, and more related to yesterday's project, than it seems at first glance).

Brokenreign

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2016, 09:55:24 AM »
Detailed my car, changed all the fluids and did a full inspection to get it ready to sell. Next step - turn my bike into a little pickup truck by putting a box on the rear rack and figuring out a way to transport my touring skis on it!

RetiredAt63

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2016, 03:54:51 PM »
Not quite that many - clothes last longer when line-dried, so your clothing replacement cost should go down. I Googled the clothesline, looks nice.  Mine is traditional, endless loop of clothesline on two pulleys.

* My mom helped me install a wall-mount Hills double folding clothesline on our patio. Now all I need to do is line-dry about 1,000 loads of clothes to make back my investment, LOL. :)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2016, 03:59:28 PM »
Assembled a picnic table for my neighbor. Bonus: we get to use it, since we have a communal yard. Double bonus: she's getting us beer or cider as a thanks. Good skills and community building to boot!

Bought a tomatillo start. Very excited for salsa verde this summer. Now to re-try on my cilantro. SIGH.

Our DIY counter top extension (made from ikea pieces) is working wonderfully. I suppose it won't really change our behavior, since we already cook all meals at home, but it'll make it all a lot easier, which is wonderful.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2016, 07:12:44 PM »
Yesterday: put up a bathroom mirror ourselves. Now we have new skills.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2016, 07:20:52 PM »
Fixed our kitchen sink. Leveraging this to try and get our landlady to increase our rent only $50, not $100, on renewal. She is very happy not to hire another plumber (last time it cost her $550...). I'm hoping my DIY skills have a very, very tangible effect on my costs here!

katsiki

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #56 on: May 28, 2016, 08:08:43 PM »
"Installed" a hitch on my SUV.  Or, as I learned today, I actually installed a receiver, ball and pin.  :)

Also, learned that I am not good at backing up a trailer..

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2016, 09:51:21 PM »
Checked my 2 beehives yesterday. One is almost full of new comb, so I'm going to need to make some new supers (the boxes you see on a beehive, where the bees make their honey). I got started today, with some ancient lumber salvaged from an old barn, maybe 90 years old or so. I borrowed a skill saw and went out and measured the hives I have to get dimensions, and started cutting. SO far just got a little bit done. I hope to cut a bit more tomorrow and get a few put together over the next few days.
Unfortunately, I'll have to buy the actual frames the bees make their comb on, as I don't really have time/patience for fiddly detailed work like that. Maybe someday.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2016, 11:41:51 PM »
Today I added Freon to my car air conditioner. $15 for three cans of 134a from Amazon. Local repair shops want $100 to top off Freon.

Friday I cleaned the outside coils on the house central air unit. $14 for two cans of Web coil cleaner from Lowes. I don't know how much it would have cost to call a service man, but I guess it would have been at least $90.

sparkytheop

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #59 on: May 30, 2016, 09:38:54 PM »
Instead of paying $17 for a new temperature control knob for my car, I used superglue and a zip tie to fix the broken one.

I borrowed my mom's old sewing machine yesterday and spent today learning how to sew (I made a tote bag shaped like a cow, almost done with it).  I sewed a wind sock in Jr. High, and a mini quilt (not even big enough for a doll) as a kid, but that's pretty much it.  It's a skill I really want to learn.

Not today, but I also found a group of women who get together to quilt every Monday, so I'll be joining them on my Mondays off.  I really want to become good at hand piecing and quilting (I'll do some quilts with the sewing machine, but want to give some completely hand stitched quilts as gifts).

ketchup

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2016, 11:06:16 AM »
I towed my car home myself with a Uhaul on Saturday after it broke down on the highway.

Then I figured out at home what was wrong with my car.  Crankshaft is seized up for some reason (won't turn over manually past a certain point).  One of the spark plugs had a piece ripped off it.  Major engine work needed, probably a full rebuild.  It can be done pretty easily in a weekend or two in this car for a few hundred in parts, but probably not worth it.  1999 Chevy Metro with 182,xxx miles, no second gear, body in pretty bad shape, rust to overtake it within a year (two tops), and now a dead engine.

:(

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2016, 10:48:41 AM »
I towed my car home myself with a Uhaul on Saturday after it broke down on the highway.

Then I figured out at home what was wrong with my car.  Crankshaft is seized up for some reason (won't turn over manually past a certain point).  One of the spark plugs had a piece ripped off it.  Major engine work needed, probably a full rebuild.  It can be done pretty easily in a weekend or two in this car for a few hundred in parts, but probably not worth it.  1999 Chevy Metro with 182,xxx miles, no second gear, body in pretty bad shape, rust to overtake it within a year (two tops), and now a dead engine.

:(

I think I'd be ready to call it done with that vehicle too. Out of curiosity, I looked up that year and model on Kelly Blue Book. It was surprisingly (to me) well rated KBB and on Edmonds.

If you liked the car, you could get another one in good mechanical condition from a private party seller, with about 140K miles for about $1,400.

If you were fortunate, you could find one of same year and with the same power train, which would allow you to strip the old one for peripherals like starter, battery, alternator, sensors, wiper motors, and what ever else you have the time, inclination and storage space to strip.

ketchup

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #62 on: June 01, 2016, 11:54:00 AM »
Oh yeah, they're great cars.  I got mine for $1,000 with 146k on the clock.  It's not really a Chevy; it's a rebadged Suzuki, manufactured by a joint venture of GM and Suzuki, in Canada.  Super simple car, no features so very little to break and need fixing.  All mine asked of me was normal routine maintenance and one clutch replacement (which is really routine on a manual anyway).  Until it quit anyway.

Great gas mileage too.  Fueleconomy.gov laughably claims that it gets 34MPG city, 42 highway.  Mine was in pretty bad shape (low engine compression for its last two years of life), and it got 45MPG city or highway in the summer, and 40MPG all around in the winter.  Worse on the highway if you did 75mph+.  Brand new I'm sure it did 50MPG without breaking a sweat.  By the end it was getting me ~42MPG city and highway this spring/early summer.

Brokenreign

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #63 on: June 01, 2016, 03:38:15 PM »
Oh yeah, they're great cars.  I got mine for $1,000 with 146k on the clock.  It's not really a Chevy; it's a rebadged Suzuki, manufactured by a joint venture of GM and Suzuki, in Canada.  Super simple car, no features so very little to break and need fixing.  All mine asked of me was normal routine maintenance and one clutch replacement (which is really routine on a manual anyway).  Until it quit anyway.

Great gas mileage too.  Fueleconomy.gov laughably claims that it gets 34MPG city, 42 highway.  Mine was in pretty bad shape (low engine compression for its last two years of life), and it got 45MPG city or highway in the summer, and 40MPG all around in the winter.  Worse on the highway if you did 75mph+.  Brand new I'm sure it did 50MPG without breaking a sweat.  By the end it was getting me ~42MPG city and highway this spring/early summer.

Also known as the mighty Geo Metro. Those things are amazingly reliable and cheap to operate. I've been on the lookout for an old Geo Tracker for a while though but it's hard to find one that hasn't been Frankensteined by a 4x4 enthusiast.

My mom used to have a Metro and 50mpg was pretty common.

Sorry to hear about your bad luck. It's a shame to see one die so young. Agreed with you that it's probably not worth fixing though.

ketchup

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #64 on: June 01, 2016, 04:00:22 PM »
Sorry to hear about your bad luck. It's a shame to see one die so young. Agreed with you that it's probably not worth fixing though.
Eh, it's 17 years old and had 182,000 miles on it.  The cars were so cheap when they were new (~$8k I believe) that they tended to be treated like crap (mine was pretty beat up when I got it).  It makes the "they're cheap crappy cars" a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people cared for them a bit differently than they cared for $45,000 Volvo station wagons.

I'm content with how much use I got out of mine.  Assuming I scrap it, total all-in cost including purchase/depreciation ($0.02/mile), fuel ($0.06/mile), maintenance/repairs ($0.04/mile), insurance ($0.03/mile), and registration, etc. ($0.01/mile) was $0.18/mile over 35,860 miles of use.  I probably won't ever do much better than that.

And I had zero reliability concerns while driving it until it finally quit.  The only real annoying thing was rust.  I had to have the exhaust welded in three different spots three different times to keep it from sounding like a freight train.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 04:04:35 PM by ketchup »

abiteveryday

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #65 on: June 01, 2016, 05:05:40 PM »
Did a bit of deferred bicycle maintenance, everything is ready to go for summer now.

Joggernot

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #66 on: June 01, 2016, 05:57:43 PM »
Changed oil in two vehicles today.  Learned that we only drove 9,000 miles in the immediate past year, instead of the 20,000 miles that we use to drive, pre-retirement.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #67 on: June 01, 2016, 08:10:22 PM »
We learn home repair on an as-needed basis. In the last year, we've become pros at changing out faulty circuit boards (dishwasher, heater, treadmill) and repairing toilets. Thanks, Google and YouTube!

Joggernot

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #68 on: June 02, 2016, 05:51:23 AM »
Have a wine cooler that stopped working.  Pulled it out and checked the circuit board.  Noticed it had a brown/burned area, so ordered a new board.  Replaced the board, added a surge protector, and the wine cooler is working just fine now.

BigHaus89

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #69 on: June 02, 2016, 10:51:50 AM »
Earlier in the spring, I trimmed the higher branches of the plum tree so we can have more plums on the lower branches. I also made raised garden beds out of reclaimed wood from the rotting treehouse on my property. We should have plenty of food in the yard to last us throughout the year.

I'm also thinking of doing some rain water collection. Anybody have experience with this?

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #70 on: June 04, 2016, 11:47:19 PM »
Today I cleaned the dust off of my refrigerator coils. It was their first cleaning in nine years, and they looked surprisingly good. The fan that blows air onto the coils was dirtier than the coils.

Peacefulwarrior

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #71 on: June 05, 2016, 12:51:30 AM »
I started using only cold water when showering. Now I don't depend on a luxurious civilisation to keep clean.

MicroRN

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #72 on: June 05, 2016, 07:34:19 AM »
I'm also thinking of doing some rain water collection. Anybody have experience with this?

Check with your local Ag Extension office.  Many of them hold workshops, or at least have literature on things like that.  We're planning on setting up collection barrels once we have our gutters up, and my sister is some type of trained rain barrel instructor, so she'll help us.

Today I made a huge batch of waffles from scratch to freeze, and I'm currently baking biscotti.  We're going to start a batch of hard cider tonight. 



brute

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #73 on: June 05, 2016, 09:15:05 AM »
Learned how to replace the garbage disposal yesterday. Once I got it out from under the sink, I was about to force it to spin and it's working fine now.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #74 on: June 05, 2016, 11:10:02 AM »
I started using only cold water when showering. Now I don't depend on a luxurious civilisation to keep clean.

Wow, that's hard core. Especially if you continue to do it when Winter comes, and the cold water gets even colder.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #75 on: June 05, 2016, 11:17:21 AM »
We learn home repair on an as-needed basis. In the last year, we've become pros at changing out faulty circuit boards (dishwasher, heater, treadmill) and repairing toilets. Thanks, Google and YouTube!

Well done on replacing the mother boards. If you take a few photos first to make sure you plug all the connectors back in correctly, it isn't nearly as scary as most people would think.

I think that learning as you go is how and why most of us do it. I didn't learn how to replace a water heater, or how to refinish a wood floor, or how to replace a car fuel pump, or any other DIY project because they were interesting topics. I learned because they needed doing and I didn't want to pay a professional.


MatthewK

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #76 on: June 05, 2016, 08:04:39 PM »
Figured out how to make our own window cleaner after running out of Windex and then changing the oil/filter in our van.

Peacefulwarrior

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #77 on: June 06, 2016, 05:35:56 AM »
I started using only cold water when showering. Now I don't depend on a luxurious civilisation to keep clean.

Wow, that's hard core. Especially if you continue to do it when Winter comes, and the cold water gets even colder.

I've been a winter swimmer for 3 years which means being member in a beach swimming club and swimming all year round even when there's snow so it's wasn't particularly hard for me to adjust. Don't know why I didn't think of it before. I guess that hot morning shower was just a nice ritual but I actually feel better with the cold water :-)

rockeTree

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2016, 06:17:29 AM »
Figured out how to make our own window cleaner after running out of Windex and then changing the oil/filter in our van.
Way to go :-)

So whatcha using? I'm about to run out too!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MatthewK

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #79 on: June 06, 2016, 09:12:05 AM »
Figured out how to make our own window cleaner after running out of Windex and then changing the oil/filter in our van.
Way to go :-)

So whatcha using? I'm about to run out too!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I found a recipe online,
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 rubbing alcohol
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups filtered water
Optional 8-10 drops essential oil.....I did not add this as I didn't have any. Not sure why you need this other than maybe for a pleasant scent?? I mixed it all in my old spray bottle and shook well. I guess if you don't shake it well the cornstarch can clog up the sprayer. I've only used on a few windows so far, seems to do a goodthe job. I'll update you after more use.

rockeTree

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2016, 04:31:03 PM »
Thanks! Will try it!


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mousebandit

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2016, 08:40:24 PM »
Got the first of the tomatoes transplanted, and set the "big chicks" (7 weeks old) out to try free ranging.  We'll soon see if they have the brains yet to go back in the chicken house, LOL! 

jengod

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #82 on: June 13, 2016, 05:51:15 PM »
Made a water feature/fountain for our backyard out of an aquarium pump, a terra cotta dish and a terra cotta strawberry pot. I want to offer a proper "backyard habitat" for local wildlife and we've been missing a running water aspect.

Joggernot

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #83 on: June 13, 2016, 06:07:41 PM »
The terra cotta might not last long.  The water will wear a hole in it.  We had to replace the terra cotta with a glazed pot.  Our feed store even drilled the hole in the bottom for us.

Tom Bri

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #84 on: June 14, 2016, 10:03:18 PM »
Yesterday and today I made a 'swarm catcher' box. That is a special type of beehive used to attract swarms of wild bees. It is basically a normal beehive, but much smaller, about 1 foot in square diameter (does that make sense?) and a bit under two feet long.

In theory, when bees swarm, as they normally do once or twice a year, they go about looking for a nice place to live, like a hollow tree. So beekeepers make boxes that look like nice hollow trees and bait them with old honeycomb. Scout bees find it, and go back to the swarm to let them know. Once they move in and start making new comb, the beekeeper just transfers the whole lot into a regular beehive. A swarm of bees is worth about $150 bucks cash, which would pay me back for what I have invested already in this endeavor with keeping bees. Waiting for honey to do the payback will take a long time, but I have gotten about 3-4 pounds of raw, organic honey already.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #86 on: June 15, 2016, 08:09:40 AM »
Not done yet BUT I am in the process of fixing my dishwasher that won't drain.  So far, it has been easier than expected to disassemble (not very handy..)

mousebandit

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2016, 10:45:18 AM »
Gotta go to the farm or have your own beehives.  Here in Oregon, there's a few food coop groups that are usually very reliable for getting quality organic raw honey through.  Liquid gold is not an exaggeration, LOL! 

21runner

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2016, 12:42:33 PM »
I had two blank walls in my new house that my GF wanted to put some kind of decoration, artwork, etc. and I built two rustic barn door shutters to put on the wall behind the dining room table and also built a wine rack for the wall in the kitchen. Both were built out of wood pallets, which were free. After I moved into the house, I decided to take down some shelves that were glued to the wall by the previous owner in the room that I planned on using for my office, and of course the glue ripped out some of the drywall. So instead of having a professional show up and re-drywall, I decided to buy some lumber (it was cheap, price-wise) and stain it. I stuck it up on that entire wall, and now have a nice, wooden wall as an "accent wall" in my office! It turned out much better than expected, and didn't cost much at all. Win-Win!!

SomedayStache

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #89 on: June 15, 2016, 12:48:31 PM »
I had two blank walls in my new house that my GF wanted to put some kind of decoration, artwork, etc. and I built two rustic barn door shutters to put on the wall behind the dining room table and also built a wine rack for the wall in the kitchen. Both were built out of wood pallets, which were free. After I moved into the house, I decided to take down some shelves that were glued to the wall by the previous owner in the room that I planned on using for my office, and of course the glue ripped out some of the drywall. So instead of having a professional show up and re-drywall, I decided to buy some lumber (it was cheap, price-wise) and stain it. I stuck it up on that entire wall, and now have a nice, wooden wall as an "accent wall" in my office! It turned out much better than expected, and didn't cost much at all. Win-Win!!
Pictures?

21runner

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #90 on: June 15, 2016, 01:30:29 PM »
Pictures?

This is the first time I've tried posting images, so it may or may not have worked right. There should be three attachments. I have yet to buy wine for the wine rack, but it's on the list. :-)

SomedayStache

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #91 on: June 15, 2016, 01:41:14 PM »
Looks damn good.

21runner

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #92 on: June 15, 2016, 01:49:08 PM »
Looks damn good.

Thanks, I appreciate it! It was my first time doing anything like this, so I was happy with the results.

Rural

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2016, 02:34:18 PM »
 Panini for supper twice, so I'm making bread midweek.

Tom Bri

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #94 on: June 15, 2016, 04:09:52 PM »
I have gotten about 3-4 pounds of raw, organic honey already.

Not to be a party pooper, but it's very hard to find organic honey: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/organic-honey-is-a-sweet-illusion/
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/how-can-honey-be-organic/

Very true. Bees will fly several miles collecting nectar. No way to know what flowers/crops they visited, and what chemicals my neighbors are using. Just a guess, but my hive out on the farm is probably BETTER than my hive at home in the suburb. Suburban people use all kinds of crap. Got to kill every last dandelion, don't you know.

Still, I know what I did and used, and the honey is straight from that perspective.

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2016, 07:09:17 AM »
Yesterday we got our chicken coop mostly finished!  We put in the flooring, and it needs to cure for a few days, plus we have some interior and exterior details (roosting bars, storage locker, nest boxes, paint exterior trim, shingle over the roofing felt), but we hope to move the chickens in tomorrow!

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2016, 12:06:37 PM »
Fixed my sliding screen door. Feels good, man :)

NV Teacher

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2016, 03:11:25 PM »
I planted the zinnias I started from seed in my mother's flower beds.  They look really sad, but I decided it was either plant them or throw them away so in the ground they went.

KiwiSonya

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2016, 08:38:04 PM »
Am about to renovate our bathroom myself and before contemplating replacing our toilet which had horrible brown stains in the bottom that made it look like I don't clean - I used a butter knife and got my hand right in there and chipped the brown stuff off. Looks like a new one! Laughed heartly when told bathroom renos cost upwards if $25,000 here. I reckon $1000 and lots of my own labour should do the trick. Love this thread.

SoccerLounge

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Re: What small thing did you DIY today to be more self-sufficient?
« Reply #99 on: June 26, 2016, 07:00:06 PM »
Made up a batch of kale chips for snacks at work. And then went a bit further down the RABBITHOLE OF KALE and threw a bunch into a sausage pasta thing I was making. (The reason this counts as being self-sufficient is that if I don't make Really Awesome Things to eat at work, I'll give in to temptation to go out or something.)